BY MAGRETH RUZVIDZO.
Rainbow Amateur Netball League (RANL) has vowed to continue fighting for its registration, with the process taking longer than expected due to conflicts with Zimbabwe Netball Association (ZINA).
Speaking at the RANL Dry Run tournament on Saturday at Morris Depot, league secretary-general Moses Gukurume said they would keep pushing for recognition.
“It’s sad, we wrote to ZINA more than six times now and their response has always been negative. They have been changing goalposts each and every time. But as RANL, we are unfazed and we will always exercise our constitutional rights. We have rights that have been enshrined in our Constitution, so we’ll continue to play whether ZINA or SRC is /not there,” he said.
“The sad thing is we are looking at it from the administrators’ point of view. Let’s stop that for a while and start looking at athletes themselves to say what is good for the athletes because whether there is PNL [Premier Netball League] or RANL, we want to create a landscape where the girl child benefits from playing netball and derive some source of livelihood.”
The league’s executive will meet Sports deputy minister Tinomuda Machakaire today to map the way forward on the registration process and see how future games will be played.
However, Gukurume could not contain his happiness after the tournament ended successfully, with teams displaying a commendable performance despite having a short space of time to prepare.
“It’s very exciting because we have been absent from the court for a very long time,” he said.
“We organised this tournament as a dry run. We just wanted to test our preparedness in running the league and to see how much it costs to run the league, seeing what might be needed in terms of resources and to have our girls get back in shape for them to prepare for the season.”
He added: “We are very excited as you know that there has been a lot of development in the netball landscape. With the coming in of PNL, we thought that we were going to lose most of our teams but it’s exciting that we retained most of our powerhouses.”
The dry run tournament saw ZRP Mambas clinching the title and walking away with a grand prize of US$1 350, with second-placed Glow Petroleum taking home US$1 100, while third-positioned Correctional Queens got US$750.
There were also individual and team prizes in various categories, including golden hand, player of the tournament, coach and umpire of the tournament and most disciplined team among others and each of the nominees walked away with US$50.
Pauline Jani, the Gems goal-shooter scooped the golden hand award after she finished the games with a total of 123 goals. Lusumbami won US$300 for being the most disciplined team.
RANL also received a US$20 000 sponsorship deal from Glow Petroleum for the season.
Follow Magreth on Twitter @MagrethRuzvidzo